We can find no other explanation for the transformation from the darkness of Moooi’s 2013 Milan show to the lighter, happier, untroubled, feel of 2014’s.
The formats were and are essentially the same, both based around room contexts backdropped by large format photos of heavily stylised spaces, but whereas last year’s presentation was a menacing neo-sadistic Wes Anderson battles Tim Burton fantasy hell; this year there was free sorbet on offer on the press day.
In two flavours: pink grapefruit or lemon.
The new Moooi products also exude a lighter, more accessible, less troubled, aesthetic.
And a new construction approach: carpentry.
Something that until now simply wasn’t part of the Moooi programme, and which they have realised with an aplomb we honestly wouldn’t have expected.
Not because Moooi can’t do quality or craft, but because in recent years the feel of the collection has been going ever more towards extroverted extremes, to forms, compositions and imagery that have challenged concepts of good taste.
The antithesis if you will of nicely turned chair legs and rounded table edges.
And then came Pinned Up………..
Among the new products the highlight for us was the Zio family of armchair, footstool, sideboard and low table by Marcel Wanders. And principally the sideboard.
An object that doesn’t do anything especially new, when all is said and done it’s a standard mid-60s wood sideboard; however, it does what it does with a wonderful degree of clarity and a self-controlled vanity that is somehow far removed from the its more formal forefathers.
It may be meant ironically. We don’t know. We don’t care. We like it.
Elsewhere the new Taffeta sofa and chair from Alvin Tjitrowirjo caught the attention with their almost colonial charm, the Nut chairs and footstool by Marcel Wanders bring a genuinely fresh form to the over-saturated world of moulded plywood chairs, and so prove that in the furniture world a market is never so over-saturated that one more object can’t be squeezed in, while the Prop Lamps from Bertjan Pot bring the glamour of the stage dressing room to the living room. In a surprisingly incognito fashion one must add for such big, brash objects. And they probably also represented the most theatrical aspect of the Moooi 2014 presentation.
A few impressions.